The Bridge! The Bridge!, Robert Latchman’s first solo exhibition at LAND Gallery, as a title encapsulates the commanding effect the Brooklyn Bridge has on this artist’s work. Latchman’s fascination with the Brooklyn Bridge began a few years ago. Since then, the bridge has served as his main subject, completely capturing the artist’s focus. The Brooklyn Bridge is not his only subject, but it is a dominating one; the work evokes permanence, construction, and calls attention to the history of place.
Latchman came to New York City from his native Trinidad before the age of two; as such, the Brooklyn Bridge has been a staple of his everyday life from a young age. In his works, Latchman focuses on the bridge’s stone towers, pushing New York City’s newer, shinier skyscrapers to background. The choice to make the bridge the tallest element in every composition isn't so much a gesture to its actual scale, but an argument that its monumental history is larger and more grounded than the newer buildings that surround it, which almost appear temporary by comparison.
Latchman draws with such fervor that he actually carves into his media of paper and board, an act that echoes the shaping of the individual granite blocks used throughout the bridge’s construction. In this way he views the subject as an architect may see a construction--as an accretion of smaller elements into something larger. The artist’s process reenacts the sequence of stacking stones; not a literal reference to the building of the bridge, but more so a creative act that allows each piece to show a unique construct of Latchman’s memory.
Spending time with the artist, one gets a sense the work is part of a larger creative act. Construction of the Brooklyn Bridge took fourteen years to complete; meeting Latchman, one feels his passion for the bridge will extend past that length of time. In that regard, Robert is a builder, an architect, tinkering with his subject repeatedly, enthralled and curious with its construction, envisioning what he can create next.
We would like to thank Brent Allen Buck, AIA for interviewing Robert Latchman and writing this press release.
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